Thursday, September 19, 2013

Jazz this week: Fareed Haque's Mathgames, Jeff Coffin, Johnny Boyd, Old Webster Jazz & Blues Festival, The Wee Trio, and more

If you've checked out the first three parts of StLJN's fall 2013 jazz preview, you already may have realized that we're heading into what could be the busiest three weeks of the season, with a wide assortment of touring musicians and special events coming up. Here's a look at the highlights of the next few days...

Tonight, guitarist Fareed Haque brings his fusion band Mathgames to The Gramophone; saxophonist Chad Evans leads a quartet in a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University; and pianist Brad MacDonald, a Collinsville native and former student of Carolbeth True's now based in Chicago, will lead a trio at Robbie's House of Jazz.

Tomorrow night, saxophonist Jeff Coffin (pictured) and his band the Mu'tet return to St. Louis to perform at The Gramophone. Interestingly, Coffin's old bandmate Bela Fleck also is back in town Friday, exploring old-time, bluegrass and country styles in a duo show with fellow banjo player and singer Abigail Washburn at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

Meanwhile, swing dance fans likely will be flocking to hear singer Johnny Boyd, formerly of 1990s revivalists Indigo Swing, at the Casa Loma Ballroom, with Miss Jubilee opening the show.

Elsewhere on Friday night, Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes Trio are at The Wine Press; the Funky Butt Brass Band plays their monthly gig at the Broadway Oyster Bar; and drummer Kaleb Kirby will lead a jam session at Robbie's House of Jazz in anticipation of Saturday's Old Webster Jazz & Blues Festival.

And speaking of the Old Webster festival, it will feature music on two outdoor stages in the Old Webster Business District, near Lockwood & Gore, from noon until 10:00 p.m. on Saturday. Performers at the free event will includes blues singer-guitarist Marquise Knox; the Webster University jazz faculty, reprising the Cannonball Adderley tribute they performed a couple of weeks ago on campus; veteran bluesman David Dee; the Willie Akins/Montez Coleman Group; singer-songwriter Javier Mendoza; and the seemingly ubiquitous retro-swing of both Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes and Miss Jubilee.

Also on the schedule are Shades of Blue, the 18-member big band from Scott AFB; "Webster's Got Talent" contest winners Blue Like Jazz, with guest vocalist Erika Johnson; the hometown Webster Groves High School Jazz Band; and a second line featuring New Orleans R&B cover band North of the Quarter.

Elsewhere on Saturday afternoon, Jeff Coffin and at least some, if not all, of the Mu'tet will be doing a free workshop and performance at Saxquest.

On Saturday evening, singer Feyza Eren will be joined at the Wine Press by Italian pianist Antonio Figura, who's in town to do various things at Washington University including a Jazz at Holmes performance next week; and trumpeter Keith Moyer leads a trio at Thurman Grill.

On Sunday, singer Joe Mancuso will bring a quintet with special guest saxophonist Freddie Washington to the Soulard Art Fair. Later that afternoon, you can see two more big bands for the price of one, as the Dave Dickey Big Band is joined at their monthly gig at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company by guest trumpeter Roger Ingram, plus the entire University of Missouri Concert Jazz Band, led by saxophonist Arthur White, performing in the intermission spot.

Also on Sunday, there's a benefit concert to raise funds for blues singer Kim Massie, who recently had thyroid surgery, at the Sheldon Concert Hall; and Good 4 The Soul and various guest stars will offer "A Tribute to George Duke" at the Bistro at Grand Center.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday saxophonist Paul DeMarinis and friends will play at Webster University's Winifred Moore Auditorium, while guitarist Tom Byrne is downtown at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups.

On Tuesday, the St. Louis Jazz Orchestra, under the baton of bassist Jim Widner, will present "A Tribute to Maynard Ferguson" at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. The concert will feature trumpeter Jim Manley, who was inspired early in his career by Ferguson and later befriended him, as guest soloist.

That same evening, The Wee Trio, with St. Louis native Dan Loomis on bass, will be back in the area for the first of two shows supporting the release of their new album Live at the Bistro at Jefferson College in Hillsboro. The group plays again on Wednesday night at Chaminade College Prep's Viragh Center for the Arts.

For more jazz-related events in and around St. Louis, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar, which can be found on the left sidebar of the site or by clicking here. You also can keep up with all the latest news by following St. Louis Jazz Notes on Twitter at http://twitter.com/StLJazzNotes or clicking the "Like" icon on the StLJN Facebook page.

(If you have calendar items, band schedule information, news tips, links, or anything else you think may be of interest to StLJN's readers, please email the information to stljazznotes (at) yahoo (dot) com. If you have photos, MP3s or other digital files, please send links, not attachments.)

(Edited after posting to correct info on the Joe Mancuso and Brad MacDonald gigs.)

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